A new study says women are either having more sexual dreams than they were 40 years ago, or have just become more comfortable admitting to them.
The Universite de Montreal study focused on more than 3,500 home dream reports from both men and women. The results showed the both men and women dream of sex about 8 percent of the time.
Sexual intercourse was the most common type of sexual dream content, followed by sexual propositions, kissing, fantasies and masturbation.
The percentage of women dreaming of sex is considerably higher than it was 40 years ago, which led researchers to believe that females are either dreaming of sex more often than they were in the past or are now comfortable reporting such dreams because of changing social roles and attitudes.
Although men and women are dreaming of sex in equal proportions, the type of sexual dreams experienced by the two genders often differs, according to the findings presented Thursday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).
The study found that both men and women reported experiencing an orgasm in about 4 percent of their sexual dreams. Orgasms were described as being experienced by another dream character in 4 percent of the women's sexual dreams, but in none of the men’s dreams.
Women identified current or past lovers in 20 percent of their sexual dreams, compared to 14 percent of the men’s dreams. Public figures were twice as likely to be the object of women’s sexual dreams than in men’s, while men were twice as likely to dream of multiple partners, according to the findings.
"Observed gender differences may be indicative of different waking needs, experiences, desires and attitudes with respect to sexuality," said the study’s author Antonio Zadra, PhD, of the Universite de Montreal, in a press release. "This is consistent with the continuity hypothesis of dreaming which postulates that the content of everyday dreams reflects the dreamer's waking states and concerns.”